Oh, what providence, we’re already to the end of another week, and welcome to another installment of The Nostalgic Weekend. Today, I am here to relate the tale of four musicians (well six, if you want to count lineup changes) from San Diego, known as No Knife. They formed in 1994, and released Drunk on the Moon the following year, and instantly started garnering a local following. While they released another full-length album in ’97 (Hit Man Dreams) and toured constantly with local friends, they didn’t really produce a sound that was beyond the realm of uninspired pop rock. They stood out from all the other groups infesting that genre, though, and proved it with their 1999 release of Fire in the City of Automatons. This time around, No Knife had produced a sound with more raw rock energy and two extremely angular guitars. Not only did the sound have more potency, but it also just carried a vibe of great times and good friends. Although this record was packed with heavy hits, it also took some downtime between louder songs with tunes such as “The Spy”, allowing the listener to get lost for a few minutes…but it certainly wasn’t intended as a bathroom break cue.
No Knife’s penultimate release was 2002’s Riot for Romance!, which put the band in a new light — still possessing the cutting guitars, but with more danciness, melody, and overall finesse. The two guitars definitely displayed their cohesive chemistry, and the bass and drums ran parallel to each other, forcing the listener to sway within the swing of each measure (it’s too catchy to not at least tap a foot). The vocals, too, carry each song with a strong presence and constantly allow for care-free singalongs (see: Irradio‘s super-charged chorus in “One Sound“). All around, No Knife was a great band that has unfortunately called it a proverbial day.
– Nicholas J.